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Auto Pact: Magna success story

In 1965, a landmark agreement with the United States transformed Canada's tiny car-making industry into a world leader. The Auto Pact created thousands of Canadian jobs and was the backbone for a generation of economic growth. But the Auto Pact also tied Canada's fortunes more closely than ever to its southern neighbour.

In the early 1980s, Canada's automobile industry begins to improve due in part to the growing success of the country's auto parts sector. Cars are lasting longer and people need quality replacement parts to keep them running. Canadian manufacturers are beginning to focus on this lucrative area of the automobile industry and acquiring a bigger chunk of North American business. A Canadian company called Magna International is one of the huge success stories.

In 1981, Magna decides to concentrate solely on the auto industry and sells its other operations, which include the manufacture of defence and industrial components. By 1987, Magna produces more than 5,000 parts used in cars and is supplying automakers around the world. The company has gone from less than $10 million in sales 15 years ago to over a billion dollars in annual sales.
• Magna International had its humble beginnings in 1957. Frank Stronach opened a one-man tool and die shop called Multimatic in Toronto. The first year sales were $13,000. In 1969, Multimatic merged with Magna Electronics, a publicly traded aerospace, defence and industrial components manufacturer.
• Between 1972 and 1987, Magna International created 10,000 jobs in Canada.
Medium: Radio
Program: Morningside
Broadcast Date: Jan. 27, 1987
Guest(s): Frank Stronach
Interviewer: Peter Gzowski
Duration: 5:14

Last updated: January 30, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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